Does the Internet Make Cheating Easier - Or Just Easier to Detect?
- November 13, 2006
- by PInow Staff
A recent series on The Today Show underscores what many already know - infidelity is a major problem today and the Internet seems to be making the problem worse. However, despite what cheaters believe, the Internet is not a safe haven for affairs.
Recently, The Today Show hosted a three-part series on "Cheating: The Business of Infidelity." The show revealed that Americans are more than ever worried about cheating in their relationships and especially their marriages. The show revealed some shocking statistics: 65% of couples have had, are having, or plan to have an adulterous affair, meaning that nearly 40 million married adults are affected by infidelity directly. Moreover, 15% of wives and 20% of husbands have cheated, according to research done for the series. This makes infidelity investigations a $400 million market, as couples turn to attorneys and private investigators to get answers.
What Makes the Internet Attractive to Cheaters?
The Internet, it seems, is just making the problem worse. Studies have shown the 18 million people in the United States use matchmaking services online, and it is estimated that 12% of matchmaker service users are married. There are even services that offer cheaters a safe place online. Meet2cheat (http://www.meet2cheat.com) promises users "organized love affairs." The web site claims "Over the years we have grown into one of the largest personals agencies." DiscreetAdventures (http://www.discreetadventures.com) allows users to "meet other like minded adults who are either unsatisfied with their current relationship, or just looking for a little extra excitement in their lives." Affairmatch (http://www.affairmatch.com/) is another popular site, advertising itself as "America's discreet sanctuary for lonely wives and cheating husbands." These websites and others like them are completely legal - and are quickly growing on the Internet. A search for the term "married personals" in Google yields over 30 relevant results in the first few pages for those who are "Married but Looking."
One consumer search estimates that there are over 15,000 searches done on a monthly basis in the United States for married personals and variations of the search. Whether using a traditional matchmaker service or one that caters exclusively to married people, cheaters can quickly find someone online. Matchmaker services usually require users to register. Once registered, members can upload profiles, pictures, even videos of themselves. Interested members can contact users through chat rooms, instant messaging, and email.
There are many reasons why cheaters use the Internet to pursue affairs. Cyberspace provides a safe and anonymous way of finding and communicating with others. Rather than having to make up excuses to go out to meet someone, an unfaithful spouse can literally meet people in the marital home, while his or her spouse is in another room. Unfaithful partners can screen the people they meet online and then meet in person occasionally. Many people also assume that online cheating leaves few clues, create a sense of confidence that the secret will stay safe.
The Dangers of Online Cheating
Many of the beliefs that people have about online cheating, though, are not accurate. Unless someone is a computer expert, they can leave a number of clues about their cheating clues that can later be used against them. Everything done on a computer leaves traces and records.
The Internet is also not a very safe place to meet a potential partner anyone can post a profile (or respond to one) online. The person embarking on an extramarital affair will in many cases not really know who they are dating. Their date may in fact be dangerous.
As with any infidelity, online cheating carries risks. STDs some of which lead to infertility or even death can affect someone who is having an affair. Infidelity may also wreak havoc with a persons self-esteem and emotional well-being. Obviously, it is an activity that can ruin relationships permanently.
Is Online Cheating Something New?
Internet infidelity is in some ways a new form of cheating, as well. Partners can engage in online sex or exclusively online affairs, assuming that as long as no physical contact takes place, infidelity does not take place. This is not essentially the case. Doing anything online that would hurt someone or doing anything that can harm a current relationship can be defined as cheating and can lead to serious consequences. All too often, as well, a couple will engage in a cyberspace affair casually but will eventually meet in person. Internet emotional infidelity can be a gateway to more forms of unfaithfulness.
Dealing With Online Cheating
Studies have proven that most people who suspect that they are with an unfaithful partner are correct. Anyone who suspects that they are involved with someone who is unfaithful should act immediately. Not getting answers will not protect a partner from emotional pain and it may expose him or her unnecessarily to disease and other harm.
Many suspicious husbands, partners, and wives turn to private investigators to get concrete answers. Investigators can use body cams, monitors, computer investigations, GPS trackers, surveillance vans, online decoys, and other measures to get evidence of infidelity. Many attorneys see private investigators as invaluable in cases of infidelity, because investigators can gather evidence that is essential in court and simply unavailable through most means. Evidence gathered by a private investigator can be crucial, especially if unfaithfulness leads to a divorce in which custody and assets must be decided. In these cases, a private investigator can ensure that the wronged partner gets an honest settlement as well as custody of the children.
Choosing the right private investigator can be one of the most important decisions a spouse will have to make. Because this decision is such an emotional and financial investment, it is important to screen private investigators carefully to find one who is qualified and experienced with infidelity investigation in any state. Using the PInow.com Worldwide Directory of Private Investigators is a great option. PInow.com allows anyone to quickly and easily search for reliable, local cheating spouse investigators.
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